When Someone You Love is in Heaven

When Someone You Love is in Heaven


Grandma Baadsgaard

 Happy Birthday Mathew
                                                          Here is a story I wrote just for you.

Never forget how much I love you

            It was an awful day. In fact it was one of those days that made Mathew wish he didn’t get out of bed. First he couldn’t find any clean socks except the pair that had a giant hole in the left toe. If there was one thing that irritated Mathew the most, it was a bare toe protruding out of his sock inside his athletic shoe all day.

Then Mathew forgot how to spell knowledge on his fifth grade spelling test. He left out the d. He always got 100 per cent in spelling and when the kids in his class found out he missed one, they all teased him for the rest of the day. Next, his power shot totally failed him as recess. He missed every single one of his layups when everyone was watching. School lunch was a complete disaster because it consisted almost entirely of a pile of fresh broccoli and carrots with no pizza. Then his teacher told him that his best friend was home sick with the barfing bug. That is when Mathew remembered sharing a spoon at lunch the day before because he forgot to get one when he was in line.

Oh great, now I’m going to get the barf bug and so will everybody else in my family just in time for Christmas and they’ll all blame me, Mathew thought. I’d rather get twenty zillion warts than get the barf bug.

One the way home the biggest, meanest sixth grader teased him about walking his five-year-old brother Mitchell home, and taunted him with, “Kindergarten baby, born in the gravy.” So Mathew kicked him but the mean kid kicked him back way harder and right in the shin.

Mathew ran the rest of the way home, kicked open his front door and dashed straight to the bathroom where he could lock the door. Mathew used to run into Caleb’s room when he got home after a hard day at school. Caleb had a way of making him feel better about everything. Caleb’s oxygen and feeding tube machines kept a steady rhythm and his brother’s stillness had a way of making Mathew relax inside. Caleb was his best friend; but Caleb wasn’t there anymore.

Mathew could hear Mitchell telling his mother about the mean sixth grader in the kitchen when he quietly unlocked the bathroom door and walked down the hall into Caleb’s room. Mathew’s parents had given Caleb’s hospital bed and medical supplies to other special needs children. There was a new bed in his room that another special needs child had given them. Mathew climbed into that bed, sprawled out and placed his right arm behind his neck. Then he remembered lying close to Caleb and helping him place his limp arms around his neck. He glanced over to the corner of the room where there was a soft brown leather chair. He remembered rocking Caleb and singing “I am a Child of God” to him when his heart rate slowed. He looked at the hutch against the wall that housed a collection of all Caleb’s favorite blankets and toys. He remembered placing Caleb’s stuffed animals around his brother in his bed and making sure his blanket was carefully pulled up around his neck.

At first, Mathew didn’t like coming into Caleb’s room after he died. But now it felt better in there. It had been almost a year since that day in the hospital when Mathew had to say goodbye. Now, when he spent time in Caleb’s room, he felt something warm pass through him. Now he wanted to stay and even sleep there sometimes.

Mathew rolled over then sat up. That is when he saw his brother’s stuffed brown bear with one eye missing - just like Caleb - sitting on the shelf. Then Mathew talked to his brother in his mind. He told Caleb about the spelling test, the lousy layups and the mean sixth grader because he knew his brother could hear him. Mathew couldn’t see Caleb any more but he knew that his brother was still alive and could be close to him when he talked to him in his mind. Mathew imagined Caleb sitting beside him with the sun warming their backs. In his mind he saw Caleb wrap his arm around him and tell him that everything would be alright.

Right then Mathew saw his mother standing in the doorway. He didn’t have to say anything because Mathew knew she understood . . . when you lose a son or a brother  . . . God always gives you an angel. Even though you can’t see him, you can feel him . . . and he never leaves you. For when someone you love is in heaven, you have a piece of heaven deep inside you forever.    
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